Playbill Playlist: Alysha Umphress, Natalie Weiss, Keala Settle and More Pick Songs by Beyoncé, P!nk and Pop Stars

Playlist   Playbill Playlist: Alysha Umphress, Natalie Weiss, Keala Settle and More Pick Songs by Beyoncé, P!nk and Pop Stars A Best Of Broadway Sings concert, featuring show-stopping numbers from the previous seven concerts of Broadway Sings…, will be held March 16 at 54 Below. In anticipation of the concert, performers pick their favorites from the Broadway Sings... series as part of this week's Playbill Playlist
Alysha Umphress
Alysha Umphress

The 9:30 PM concert promises "completely new arrangements of the hits of seven pop superstars: Adele, Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Stevie Wonder, Amy Winehouse, Justin Timberlake, and P!NK."

Performers include Ben Fankhauser (Newsies), Russell Fischer (Jersey Boys), Ari Groover (Holler If Ya Hear Me), Jay Armstrong Johnson (Hair, On the Town), Aaron LaVigne (Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark), Tracy McDowell (Motown the Musical, Rent), Corey Mach (Godspell, Hands on a Hardbody), Chelsea Packard (Wicked, Promises, Promises), Kyle Post (Kinky Boots, Rent), Saycon Sengbloh (Aida, Fela!), Libby Servais (Wicked, Lysistrata Jones), Tony nominee Keala Settle (Les Misérables, Hands on a Hardbody), Alysha Umphress (On the Town, American Idiot), Natalie Weiss (Everyday Rapture) and Raena White (The Lion King).

Also featured will be Gabrielle Reid (Beautiful the Musical), Anita Welch and Devon Yates.

The performers will be accompanied by an eight-piece jazz band playing unique, original orchestrations created for the series.

Created in 2012, the Broadway Sings… concert series salutes well-known pop icons and twists their music to create new arrangements created specifically for the Broadway performer singing the song.

The series is produced and directed by Mach (Hands on a Hardbody, Wicked, Godspell) and features musical direction and arrangements by Joshua Stephen Kartes.

The series will continue this May with Broadway Sings Bruno Mars. 54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street. Tickets are $30-$40, plus a $25 food/beverage minimum. For tickets, call (646) 476-3551 or visit 54Below.com.

Alysha Umphress: Raena White's performance of "Back to Black" at Broadway Sings Amy Winehouse. Cuz dose vocals doh. Murdering it.

Natalie Weiss: Christine Dwyer's performance of "So What" at Broadway Sings P!NK. I lost my #h!t when I saw that performance live. She NAILED those key changes, and they. are. tough! Plus, that arrangement is sick. Thanks, Joshua Stephen Kartes. 2:50-on is JUST awesome.

 

Keala Settle: Tituss Burgess' performance of "Childhood" at Broadway Sings Michael Jackson. I love watching Tituss interpret a song and then witness his offering. The original recording of this song means so much to me. I was and always will be a massive MJ fan. This rendition strikes me to my core. And all of it…is good. And right. And beautiful. As it should be.

Corey Mach: Raena White's performance of "Back to Black" at Broadway Sings Amy Winehouse. GAH! It's seriously like picking a favorite child, so I'm eenie-meenie-miney-mo-ing this one. This arrangement is just killer, and Raena sounds otherworldly. It was one of those "you had to be there" moments; I had her open the show and the energy in the room was just electric.

Saycon Sengbloh: Maia Wilson's performance of "Sir Duke" at Broadway Sings Stevie Wonder. My favorite is my sister-girl Maia Wilson's performance of "Sir Duke" on the hottest Stevie Wonder tribute ever!

Tracy McDowell: Lena Hall and Eric Michael Krop's performance of "Just Give Me a Reason" at Broadway Sings P!nk. I love this because P!nk is my idol and these two are rock stars as well. They are fearless performers, and they have TRUE edge. It's beautiful to see that played out through the music of P!nk, who embodies that truth, too! Also, the song is just so great!

Raena White: Morgan James' performance of "I Wanna Be Where You Are" at Broadway Sings Michael Jackson. This is one of my faves because the arrangement is so smooth, yet the performance has a raw quality to it. Morgan does such a soulful rendition of the song and has such explosive notes in between! It's just different enough without taking away the fundamental elements of what makes the song work.

Aaron LaVigne: TOO many good choices, so I have two: Chelsea Packard singing "Part Time Lover" at Broadway Sings Stevie Wonder because it's insanely smooth.

And, of course, my girl Lena Hall singing "Me & Mr. Jones" at Broadway Sings Amy Winehouse because it's insanely gritty.

Russell Fischer: Saycon Sengbloh's performance of "Why Don't You Love Me" at Broadway Sings Beyoncé. My boyfriend and I listen to Saycon slay "Why Don't You Love Me" from the Beyoncé edition much more than every-so-often!

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